Story: Marlborough region

Puhuriwhenua cannon

Puhuriwhenua cannon

This cannon, known as Puhuriwhenua (earth shaker), sits outside the offices of the Marlborough District Council in the 2000s. According to his son, who recounted the story in the Marlborough Daily Times of 16 January 1901, whaler John (Jacky) Guard bought the cannon in Sydney, Australia, in 1833. He offered it to Nohorua, a relation of Te Rauparaha, as payment for the right to occupy Kākāpō Bay, where Guard was based in the 1830s. At some time when Nohorua was absent, the cannon was stolen by Captain John Blenkinsopp. He gave it to Te Rauparaha in exchange for access to wood and water for his ship, but later claimed that Te Rauparaha had signed away the Wairau plain in exchange for the cannon. The claim was not upheld by the colonial authorities.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Janine Faulknor

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How to cite this page:

Malcolm McKinnon, 'Marlborough region - Early Europeans', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/31761/puhuriwhenua-cannon (accessed 17 November 2018)

Story by Malcolm McKinnon, updated 16 Nov 2016